Coronado Speed Festival 2011: Part One

Words by Matt Willis

As you may already know, one of San Diego’s biggest events in the automotive spectrum is the Coronado Speed Festival. We’ve been to the annual “Race at the Base” the past few years and have always walked away more than satisfied — this year was no exception. In fact, most of the people we spoke to told us it was the best Speed Festival to date, and we’d have to agree.

Per Tim’s coverage of the OC Auto Show, we caught the tail end of the action in Anaheim on Friday, causing us to run a little behind on Saturday morning. We shot down to San Diego on Saturday — as early as we could with the little sleep we had. By around 9am, we were on base and ready to go. This year was a little different; it was the first time we had track access, so we had to go to the media booth and get safety vests and media passes and such. The way they handled it was a little strange; we ended up with one vest between the two of us – which wasn’t too much of an issue considering the size of the event and how much there was to cover off the track. This was resolved on Sunday though, when they started to check the vests in and out at the track entrance rather than at the front gates – forcing people to turn them in rather than having them wandering about all day. You guys will enjoy the track shots though…it was definitely a bonus to be close up to the action.

We geared up and split up, taking turns covering different material and trying to take everything in. There won’t be too much rhyme or reason to this bit of coverage…I’m pretty much going to go in the order of events since we were so scattered.

This post will focus on the “best of the best” in the car showcase. The show area takes place sort of “behind the scenes”, for people to check out in-between races and such – but that’s not to say the builds were overshadowed. There’s an even balance of muscle, European, Japanese – of both classic and modern eras – so there was something for everybody. Most of the owners were out showing off and talking with fellow enthusiasts about their rides, which I always think is cool. It tells me the scene is still kicking and people are still passionate about cars. I briefly spoke with the owner of a mid-70s Porsche Carrera in passing. “I put half my life into this car,” he said. “My wife only lets me work on it on Sundays, but sometimes I fire it up during the week just to piss her off.” So many of the people at the Festival shared that mentality…I suppose that’s what makes it such a cool event.

Anyways…enough talk…enjoy the first round of photos…





This old Mercedes SL190 is hardly one at all. The body and interior have not only been restored, but fitted with new Mercedes technology too…


Notice the electronic shifter, audio console, and modern gauges – all retrofitted from the late model Mercedes lineup. The red/cream interior definitely keeps the classic 50s/60s-era in mind.


Form-fitted Mercedes luggage…


…even the engine was modernized. Completely.


Stealthly looking C3 ‘Vette. Love it…


This Bug doesn’t look like a whole lot from the front…


…but the good stuff is in the back. Flat-4 Boxer from a Subaru WRX. I’m still curious on how the drivetrain was hooked up on it…



Porsche owners flocked to this event, showing off everything from late model masterpieces to genuine classics, like these…the iconic 356…


Got 911s?


Here’s a 911 GT3 RS, looking flashy with the contrasting red trim. Though I think the colors can be too tacky sometimes, the 997 RS is still one of my favorite cars…




The Testarossa…next to the F50, 430 and 360, one of my favorite Ferraris. Haha…



Beautiful 60s ‘Vette…



Trendy ITB plugs…hehe…


Perhaps the biggest group in the showcase are the Cobra owners…there are a TON of them, in all different colors and configurations.


Lotus Seven on Kosei K1 wheels…



Tangerine-colored GT40 that we saw on display last year as well…



Another iconic car, the Plymouth Roadrunner Superbird…


BMW M1 Procar…for sale folks…



Mini…very popular car at the Festival, both parked and on the track…

Viper SRT-10 ACR…

Richard Robello’s stealthy Mustang GT was on display…

Z28 Camaro…


Frosty Grey 370Z.


Corvette Z06


Monte Carlo Blue NSX, also a car we saw last year…


I’m going to wrap up there. We’re still working on this set, believe it or not…but we’ll keep the updates coming throughout the week…so STAY TUNED…

Thanks for reading!

3 responses to “Coronado Speed Festival 2011: Part One”

  1. Awesome cars!!! I know they had cars on display both on the 24th and 25th.. Did u take photos on both days??

    1. Yes, we were there taking pictures both days of the event.

  2. […] thirty-seven years, and has one of the most loyal fan bases around. Similar to San Diego’s Coronado Speed Festival, the Long Beach GP is considered as part of the city’s heritage and lifestyle. And that great […]

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